Truth Behind the Great Firewall of China

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 Michael Anti (aka Zhao Jing), a key figure in China’s new journalism, explores the growing power of the Chinese internet & the truth behind  the great firewall of China.l

He has been blogging from China for 12 years. Despite the control the central government has over the Internet — “All the servers are in Beijing” — he says that hundreds of millions of microbloggers are in fact creating the first national public sphere in the country’s history, and shifting the balance of power in unexpected ways.

One morning in 2011, Michael Anti woke up to find himself a nonperson: His Facebook profile, with 1,000+ contacts, had been suspended. Anti, whose given name is Zhao Jing, ran up against Facebook’s real-name policy – but he points out that for Chinese bloggers and information activists, the pseudonym is an important protection for the free exchange of information.

Facebook itself is blocked in China (along with Twitter and YouTube), but the country boasts some 500 million netizens – including 200 million microbloggers on sites like Sina Weibo, a freewheeling though monitored platform for text and photo updates that offers, perhaps for the first time, a space for public debate in China. It’s not a western-style space, but for China it is revolutionary. It’s the first national public sphere. Microblogs’ role became clear in the wake of the high-speed train crash in Wenzhou in 2011, when Weibo became a locus of activism and complaint – and a backchannel that refuted official reports and has continued to play a key role in more recent events.

Recently a TED video featuring Michael Anti on China’s Censorship seems to be making the rounds.  I think Anti does bring some unique insights to the English speaking audience about China that we don’t generally see in Western media; hence his video below:

Imagine there are 500 million internet users in China!

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Chinese Equivalent Internet Sites

Google       Baidu

Twitter       Weibo 

FaceBook    Renren

             YouTube       YouKu or TuDou 

Grieving For The Dear Departed

 

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By P Chong                                                         Sat. 23 Oct. 2010

Grieving is universal. It doesn’t differentiate between colour, race or creed. There’re no boundaries between classes of economic status. Grieving is essential for the soul, mind & body. However, how does one grieve?

Personally, there’s no set form for grief. People grieve for relief, solace, or sadness & there’s no right or wrong way in expressing it. According to sociologists at various universities opinion can differ from one to the other.

There should however be stages of grief. First comes the acceptance to be expected out of this natural phenomenon. This is followed by the healing process and then there has to be the moving-on process. You can’t keep on grieving for the rest of your natural life. For the living, life goes on and so must you.

When a person passed on, it’s not not just a digital statistic, he or she is someone’s grandparent, father or mother, husband or wife, uncle or aunty and so on. The deceased is many persons in one . . . dear to someone. For the widow or widower, it could mean moving on in finding new partner. To love again? Why not?

What about attendance at funeral? Your presence of course is a question of honour & due respect for the departed. But some people can’t bear being at funeral. So long some representation of kind or person is being arranged, it’s the heart within that really counts. There are in fact hypocrites who wail and cry aloud at funeral, but to what end and purpose?

Modern technology has replaced or substitute for cases who simply cannot make it for the funeral because of distances & circumstances. Out of town or country mourners keep vigil & pay respect via electronic media where video clips or slide shows are available for viewing. This is the burgeoning trend that allowed people to share memories & eulogies.

Video or slide show tributes chronicling the deceased’s past are shown during visitations and memorial services are being held at funeral parlours. The trend is towards celebrating the life of the dear departed.

As a matter of fact, we cry from the cradle to the grave. The day we were born, we uttered our first cry . . . then we were crying for this & that . . . and sooner or later, we cry for others or others cry for us! What a life of crying! It’s crying to no end. We celebrate our birth. We celebrate our marriage. Why not we celebrate or let others celebrate our good life?

In the presentation of the eulogy, the speaker may well moderate emotion enough to focus on the joyous & good experiences of the dear departed with a clear mind.

Healing process comes through looking back on the past experiences & reminisces & sharing the joy rather than the sadness among relatives & friends. It is not to say that it’s unnatural to feel pain & the sense of loss.

At funerals & hereafter, in observing devotion & dedication, there are these actions to consider:

To take a look at one’s own life

A time for reflection

A time for resolution

A time to act

That life is a journey not a destination

Try to make it as interesting & loving for self & others!

In recent memory of my brother-in-law Brother Kheng in Taipei, Taiwan.